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How to Make a Pocketed Window Topper

by on Mar 23, 2007

"A White and Simple Pocketed Window Topper for Window"

Besides pillows and pillow slipcovers, curtains and window toppers are some of the easiest home decor projects to sew. You don’t need to spend money on a store-bought pattern for this simple pocketed (meaning it has a pocket for a rod) window topper.

Step 1: Measure Twice Cut Once

First you’ll need to measure the width of your window. Mine is 24″ wide. I’m also going to take into consideration how much my curtain rod protrudes from the wall, which is about 6″ per side. So, 24+6+6=36. To get a nice full look, I’ll multiply this number by 2. And finally, I’ll add 2″ for about a 1″ seam allowance on either side. This gives me a total of 74″. This final figure isn’t written in stone; you can make your curtain a little wider or thinner, depending on the look you’re going for.

A brown window frame with the words, 21" drop and 24" wide.

Your second measurement involves the length of your curtain. I want mine to be 21″ long, finished. You’ll also have to take into consideration the top and bottom hems. On the top, I need 2″ for the ruffle above the rod pocket; I need the pocket itself (mine is 2 ½” wide plus I’ll add ½” for the actual thickness of the rod) and about a 1″ hem allowance. So far that gives me 21+2+3+1=27″. Now you’ll need to determine your bottom hem. Curtains look best with an ample hem. At least 2″. So, in this case you’d add 27+2+1(for seam allowance) for a total of 30″. Note: For my topper, I chose a white eyelet with a finished edge, which means my curtain is already pre-hemmed. Very handy!

Step 2: Let’s Sew

We’ll begin by hemming the edges of our window topper. Simply fold raw edge in ½”, press, fold again ½”, press (as shown) and then sew at about 1/4″ from folded hem. Repeat on the other side.

Now we move to the top of our curtain. *We’ll fold down the top 6″ and then press. Fold under raw edge 3/4″ at the bottom of top hem. Press and then sew a seam about 1/4″ from hem edge.

A white piece of material with lines of holes.

Next is the pocket. For this we’ll measure up 3″ from the seam we just made. This is where our top seam for the pocket will go. Hint: place a piece of tape on your sewing machine as shown to use as a seam guide. This will establish your seam allowance from the top of your curtain. Then just follow the tape as you sew to create an even pocket.

White eyelet fabric is being sewn on a sewing machine with white painter's tape on it.A white cloth is being sewed with a small machine.

Finally, you’ll need to hem your curtain. Fold down three inches, press, and then fold raw edge under 3/4″. Sew seam at about 1/4″ from bottom edge. Basically, this is the same procedure as the indicated at *.

And, voila! A simple pocketed valance.

"A White Beautiful Pocketed Window Topper"

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  1. Twelve years after the fact, I’ve found the best written tutorial for a DIY valance EVER!! Thank you DIY Maven!